China Eastern joins airline joint venture

Chinese carrier partners with Air France/KLM and Virgin Atlantic on Europe-China routes

China Eastern has its eyes set on a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM, with the arrangement aimed at providing improved air connections between Europe and China.

The Chinese carrier already has a joint venture with Air France and KLM on flights between China and Paris and Amsterdam. The addition of Virgin Atlantic to the pact will provide an enlarged cooperation that will “offer strengthened customer benefits including increased travel options and optimised connectivity across Europe and China”.

The China to United Kingdom markets are expected to be pivotal at a time where China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic services linking London to Shanghai are part of the mutualised offer. China Eastern plans to seek to codeshare for the first time on Virgin Atlantic services between London and Shanghai. This will open up a range of customer benefits, including the opportunity for customers to earn and redeem miles across both carriers on flights between China and United Kingdom.

The signing ceremony - China Eastern signs on to joint venture with Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic
The signing ceremony - China Eastern signs on to joint venture with Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic

The announcement reaffirms China Eastern’s commitment to the European market, which will inject new vitality into her international development, network construction and service improvement.

“China Eastern and Air France-KLM have maintained a long-term and stable strategic cooperation, which have provided a strong support for each other’s services between China and Europe. With Virgin Atlantic’s joining, the cooperation will develop to a higher level enabling us to deliver more quality products and services for customers between China and Europe,” said Tian Liuwen, EVP China Eastern Group.

Schedules

China Eastern- Air France-KLM’s current Joint Venture schedules (Summer 2019 Season) are as follows:

China Eastern:

– twice-daily frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Paris Charles de Gaulle
– four-weekly frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Amsterdam Schiphol
– three-weekly frequencies between Kunming and Paris Charles de Gaulle
– three-weekly frequencies between Qingdao and Paris Charles de Gaulle

Air France:

– twice-daily frequencies between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Shanghai Pudong
– three-weekly frequencies (four-weekly in peak periods) between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Wuhan

KLM:

– 12-weekly frequencies between Amsterdam Schiphol and Shanghai Pudong

Services (Summer 2019 Season) between London and Shanghai by China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic are as follows:

China Eastern:

– daily service from Shanghai Pudong to London Heathrow
– three-weekly frequencies from Shanghai Pudong to London Gatwick (To be increased to daily service from Winter 2019 Season)

Virgin Atlantic:

– daily service to Shanghai Pudong from London Heathrow

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